“Now is the moment to stick together”

New Year’s address by the President of the Confederation Guy Parmelin

Dear fellow citizens in Switzerland and abroad!

We have a dark year behind us. The health crisis has hit us hard. Many families have lost someone close to them. Many were not able to say goodbye to him or her as they would have wished. For them, the past year will be forever linked to this painful loss. The staff in hospitals and nursing homes came to the edge of their strength and still are today. Others were not allowed to work at all for a long time, were on short-time work or even lost their jobs. Traditional companies have disappeared. Our education system was also put to the test. In short: the pandemic has turned all our lives upside down.
  Rarely have we experienced anything comparable: our activities came to a standstill. The whole of society was in unprecedented isolation. We had to learn to get along without shaking hands. This important greeting ritual suddenly endangered our health. All this was and is all the more difficult for us because – as Aristotle already said – we humans “are by nature sociable beings.”
  You will understand: at the beginning of this new year, I do not want to express myself too enthusiastically. Much is uncertain and the situation remains precarious. Nevertheless, I would like to offer you my best wishes from the bottom of my heart. I think especially of those who are lonely or ill. I think of those who suffer from the loss of a close acquaintance. And I think of all those who are worried by the unfamiliarity of everyday life. I would like to assure you again today that the Federal Council supports you as best it can and is looking for solutions for today and tomorrow. 
  Personally, I feel something like confidence and optimism despite everything. I am not saying this because it sounds good, but out of conviction: Our country has done many things right in the past. We have brought numerous inventions to the market. For everyone, “Swiss made” is the epitome of quality and reliability. This is also reflected in the fact that 28 Nobel Prize winners come from Switzerland.
  Switzerland is moving forward and will continue to do so in the future. I am convinced that our good education system helps us to do so. Education is our universal language. It is a prerequisite for dialogue and exchange. In a time of extremely unstable power relations, education guarantees access to compromise. It paves the way for the peaceful resolution of conflicts. Education is basically the key to the cohesion of our country.
  We Swiss must stand together. Only in this way can we, as a country, stand up for the interests of all of us: for our health and economic well-being, for peace and solidarity, for freedom and independence, – in short, for everything we have held dear for a long time.
  On this 1 January, we turn a new page in the book of our history. Admittedly, this will not improve the current situation in one fell swoop. But we must not be allowed in give up. I call on you to bear our fate as a community. Now is the moment to stick together – despite the caution that is still necessary in being together. Only if we stand together will we, as the Swiss people, one day be able to celebrate common successes again.
  It is really important to me that we are a united Switzerland, united in our diversity: urban and rural, old and young, affluent and less affluent.
  In this hope, I wish everyone: Buon ann. Bonne année. Bun Onn. Es guets Nöis  •

Source: https://www.admin.ch/gov/de/start/dokumentation/reden/neujahrsansprachen/2021.html

(Translation Current Concerns)

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